Ask the Vet

Protocol Confusion Cleared Up

Always read the label, and if things still aren't clear, call the manufacturer or your herd veterinarian. (Progressive Farmer image by Jim Patrico)

I was doing some contract AI (artificial insemination) work for a cattle producer. He sent me all the drugs and a protocol. We were working the cattle and ran out of Lutalyse HighCon. I looked at the bottle, and the dose was 2 mL, but the protocol said to give 5 mL. The cattle seemed fine, but is this dangerous? Did I do any harm to them long-term? Will it affect our AI success?


As soon as Lutalyse HighCon came out, I knew this was going to happen. It is a 12.5 mg/mL versus a 5 mg/mL solution, so the dose is 2 mL rather than 5 mL. Fortunately, the product is pretty safe in cattle even at 2.5 times the normal dose. It should have no effect on your AI success, just on someone's pocketbook.

This was a unique situation in that you were doing what the protocol said, but it also points out the need to always read the label. When something does not add up, call before proceeding.

I like Lutalyse HighCon for a number of reasons. One big plus for me is this is labeled for subcutaneous (SQ) and intramuscular use. Prostaglandins can lead to inflammation of muscles and an increased risk of clostridial disease, especially when poor injection techniques are used. I have had several mature cows develop blackleg during the years after Lutalyse was injected in the hip. I am also betting dirty needles were involved.

While I have never seen a problem when a prostaglandin was given in the neck muscle with a clean needle, I like having the SQ option. It is labeled for cattle only and should not be used in other species.